London: European shares moved up in early trade on Tuesday, with Vodafone leading the gainers after it reported its quaterly revenue up by 14%, while BP fell after disappointing numbers.
By 0929 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares was 0.3% higher at 779.95 points.
“It’s a bear market rally but I think any recovery is going to be fragile. Any top-down (economic) number which we have seen effectively points to a worsening of the economic situation as opposed to a bottoming out or improvement,” said Heino Ruland, strategist at FranfurtFinanza.
The mobile telecommunications sector was the biggest gainer on the index led by the Vodafone. Its shares rose by 4.6% after the group beat third-quarter forecasts for revenue and increased its guidance to reflect foreign exchange movements.
While, energy stocks were the main drag on the index. BP lost 2.3% after it said replacement cost net profit fell in the fourth quarter to $2.59 billion and undershot forecasts as oil prices dropped and its Russian unit reported a big loss.
“BP figures will weigh with numbers not so good which is not surprising given the fall in the oil price and the impact of the Russian cost,” said Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management.
BG Group, Royal Dutch Shell and Total were down between 0.8 and 3.3 percent.
Across Europe, the FTSE 100 index was up 0.1%, Germany’s DAX was 0.4% higher and France’s CAC 40 was up by 0.3%.
Pharma firms were on the rise. Merck gained 0.8% as it said its experimental Parkinson’s disease treatment safinamide, when taken with standard drug levodopa, was shown to improve patients’ motor functions in a late-stage study.
Banks were mixed, although stocks did contribute to large gains on the index. Banco Santander, UBS and Credit Agricole were up 1.5 to 2.4%.
“People are still a little bit shaky about the banking industry, but today it does not appear to be a problem. It’s bargain hunting,” added Ruland.
While, French bank BNP Paribas shares slumped by 2.8%.
And Nordea Bank, HSBC, Barclays were 0.2 to 2.4% down.
Later in the session, investors will await data for US pending home sales for December, due at 1500 GMT.